H was 48 and W was 46.  They cohabited for 3 years before marrying having a 18 year marriage.  2 children were born.  Both had no financial resources when they met.  By the time they were divorced, their assets were substantial.

H argued that he had made a special contribution to the marriage and the matrimonial assets should not be divided equally.  He supported his argument with a 60:40 award in his favour.

It is suggested that the correct approach when determining whether a financial contribution justifies the departure from an equal division of the marital wealth should be as follows:

The Court should first consider whether the quantum of the contribution alone is exceptional and thus has a quality which makes it inequitable to disregard.

  1. If the quantum alone is not sufficient, the Court should consider where there is some other quality either 1), in the manner or duration of the production or 2), in the skill individual/quality of the contributor which renders it sufficiently exceptional to make it inequitable to disregard.
  2. The Court must then assess whether any such special contributions is “unmatched” by considering whether the other party has made an equal contribution which is so significant that it would be inequitable to disregard it.

Many businesses are built on this foundation.


If you believe you have made a special contribution in a marriage and the Court should depart from the standard principle of an equal division come and see one of our family financial specialists at any of our offices at Boston, Lincoln, Spalding, Sleaford Grantham and Newark.

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